Confusion over an upgraded version of a software used to calculate motor vehicle taxes for four-wheelers by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) was cleared on Monday. After the revised tax slab was introduced from May 1, registration of vehicles dropped by about 50 per cent as officials at the RTO did not know how to deal with different vehicle prices that the software was showing for the same vehicle models.
However, RTO officials assured that registrations were back on track from Monday. An upgraded version of Vahan, the software used for vehicle registrations, was introduced by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in RTOs all over the state on May 1. While at the three RTOs in Mumbai, no new vehicle was registered from May 2-5, in the Pune RTO, registration of vehicles dropped by about 50 per cent in the first two days.
Though some RTO officials admitted that work was hampered till Monday morning, regional transport officer Arun Yeola said it was a matter of time before the staff got acquainted with the upgraded software. Asked about the drop in vehicle registrations, Yeola attributed it to the slump in the auto market and rise in taxes.
“Motor vehicle tax is to be paid only once at the time of the purchase of the vehicle. It is calculated as a percentage of the price of the vehicle. The new version of Vahan essentially exposes auto dealers if they try to overcharge customers and show a lower vehicle price at the time of registration. This is possible because at the time of calculation of the revised taxes, the software also shows the vehicle price of the last five registrations for the same model. It is easy for us now to spot any discrepancies at a dealer’s end. In such cases, we’re now withholding the registration of the vehicle till the dealer is able to produce the manufacturer’s invoice,” said Yeola.
“There was no change in the software. We just added some enhanced features in the upgraded version. These features will help identify price variation among dealers for the same vehicle models. It was used for about four months in Pimpri-Chinchwad and officials were happy with the additional features. However, with the new tax slab, when the rest of the state tried to adopt it, there was confusion as the RTO staff was not trained,” said an NIC official.